When suffering from Candida yeast infections it is important to have the correct diagnosis so that the appropriate treatment can be used. It is therefore important to seek medical advice if this is the first time you have had a Candida yeast infection to ensure that it is actually yeast causing the infection and not some other microbe which requires a different treatment.
Candida yeast infections are clinically typical and a doctor can easily recognise the signs and symptoms. However the doctor may send some samples of swabs or a skin scraping of the infected lesions to a laboratory for testing and confirmation.
People who suffer from recurrent Candida yeast infections usually know what their symptoms are and what triggers the reoccurrence of the infection. Therefore if you suffer from reocurring Candida yeast infections it is advisable to seek medical advice to make sure that there are no underlying diseases such as diabetes, cancer or AIDs which are the root cause of the recurrent symptoms.
For otherwise healthy adults and children, once you are familiar with your own symptoms and you have been checked by a doctor to ensure you are otherwise healthy it is safe to manage your own Candida treatment and many sufferers of recurrent yeast infections do just that.
However it is important to seek medical advice under the following circumstances:
1. If a medication is tried and fails repeatedly as the infection may be caused by something else, or the yeast may be resistant to the medication you are using
2. If the lesions do not get better within 1-2 weeks of starting treatment
3. If symptoms become worse whilst on the treatment
4. If new or different symptoms or infections develop
5. If a person’s immune system is weakened by cancer, AIDS etc it is important that all infections are monitored by a doctor. Immuno-compromised people must consider all types of Candidasis as serious and treat them aggressively. The infection may indicate that your immune system functions have become worse
6. If you are having abnormal vaginal discharge and are not sure whether you have a yeast infection, as it could be an STD such as Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, Trichomoniasis, or bacterial vaginosis
7. If yeast infections recur persistently. Candidiasis that recurs may be a symptom of a hidden disease such as diabetes, leukaemia, or AIDS
8. It there are other non typical symptoms such as bloody discharge, abdominal pain, fever, and increased urination as this can indicate more serious problems
9. Oral thrush may need a prescription medication and a prompt visit to the doctor, particularly if the infection has progressed down to the throat and/or the oesophagus as indicated by difficulty in swallowing and/or chest pain
10. If the infected person has taken no fluids for longer than 12 hour or if there are prolonged problems with feeding a visit to a doctor is warranted. This is especially important with babies and the elderly
11. Any fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or if the rash spreading to other parts of your body may be a sign of a more serious illness
Most cases of Candidasis do not have to be treated in the hospital. However, people who are immuno-compromised may develop more serious life threatening infections which need hospitalization. People who are immuno-compromised run the risk of the Candidal organisms spreading to their blood or internal organs, which can cause a life-threatening illness called Candidemia. Intra-venous drugs may be required to treat a systemic illness. In these cases the doctor should investigate any symptoms of illness or general malaise promptly.
If a person with oral thrush has problems swallowing and/or develops chest pain, they may have developed an oesophageal infection. This is a rare and serious complication which must be treated with systemic anti-fungal drugs prescribed and managed by a doctor. If because of the thrush symptoms you are unable to drink fluids or eat for long periods of time, you may need to be hospitalized for more aggressive medications and to re-establish body fluids.
It is improbable that a Candidal skin infection would require hospital treatment.
In conclusion, Candida yeast infections are reasonably widespread and only in certain circumstances do they need intervention by a doctor. Most yeast infections can be self diagnosed and treated, but this is only advisable if you are a healthy adult who is already familiar with the signs and symptoms of thrush. It is critical to be sure that your current symptoms are actually caused by a yeast infection. It is recommended that first time sufferers and chronically ill people have their Candida yeast infections managed by a medical professional and that if you experience any changes to your symptoms that you seek medical advice as soon as possible.